Top 5 Skin Problems and Their Symptoms
There are so many good reasons to take care of your skin. It is something that protects your body from pollutants, germs, cold, heat, ultraviolet exposure, and many more.
Almost all people are likely to meet some kind of skin problem at some point in their lives ranging from mild skin tags, rashes, fungal infection, bumps, acne, eczema to severe psoriasis. If you think your skin is breaking out, itching, or looks odd and you are not sure what is causing the problem, check out the different kinds of skin conditions and symptoms or consult a doctor as there are treatments available.
There are skin problems that can occur due to aging, hormonal changes, too much exposure to the sun, eating some foods, chemical exposure, heredity, immune problems, and many others. A number of factors account for skin problems, including the chemicals in perspiration and sweat, protective keratin layer, and the internal defenses existing in the bloodstream. Nevertheless, when such problems on the skin do occur, these most often become a nuisance than actually being a problem.
Acne is a skin problem that is common in adolescence. This skin condition is characterized by the existence of various spots referred to as comedones (whiteheads and blackheads), pustules, papules, and in serious cases, cysts and nodules. Acne development concurs with the beginning of puberty upon the release of androgen hormones like testosterone. These hormones can greatly influence the sebaceous glands to produce excessive sebum, resulting in blockage and usual spots related to acne.
In spite of the fact that acne is considered by many as part of growing up, it can impact a young person’s ability to interact with others and to perform well in school. According to some studies, acne is more common in girls because of early puberty onset. It surges in frequency in boys in later adolescence. Although acne has customarily been recognized as an adolescent disease, a substantial proportion of individuals in their twenties or thirties also bear acne to some extent.
Statistics showed that more than 15 percent of school teens had acne that ranges from moderate to serious, requiring medical care. More than 25 percent of these students felt embarrassed and frustrated about their skin condition. Among the body parts that can be affected by acne include the face, shoulders, neck, upper arms, chest, and back. Acne may sometimes appear on the arms, torso, and legs in some cases.
Some of the treatment options available include the application of topical antibiotics or antibacterials, the use of retinoids, intake of oral antibiotics or oral contraceptives, chemical peels, and laser treatments.
Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema
Popularly known as eczema, atopic dermatitis tends to be a skin condition that can be inherited along with hay fever and asthma. This inflammatory skin condition often manifests as a scaly and red rash that can be so itchy. Generally, atopic dermatitis occurs on the face in kids and infants then may be seen behind the knees or in elbows. At some stage, eczema can occur on any skin part depending on the affected person’s age and his contact with environmental irritants. The severity of this skin condition tends to differ with age. While the percentage of those sufferers who are considered to have a serious case of atopic dermatitis is just around two percent in all ages, children and infants have a greater percentage with the moderate disorder than older individuals.
Characterized by scaly and red rashes that can be itchy, psoriasis can occur in any body parts. This autoimmune disease can discolor the nails, make it pitted and fragile. While its cause is not yet known, it seems to be so very common in a number of families. Psoriasis has also been linked with different factors in those individuals who are predisposed to it like skin trauma, stress, streptococcal upper respiratory infection, heavy intake of alcohol, smoking, and some medications.
Some studies revealed that psoriasis is common in adults but can also affect children. This skin problem could be so easy for most skin experts to diagnose. However, it can be so hard to treat depending on your condition. Psoriasis can be diagnosed by just looking at the skin changes that oftentimes, no further testing is required unless there could be a little confusion and uncertainty about the diagnosis. For instance, a dermatologist may find it hard to diagnose someone who also has another skin problem like eczema. In this case, a skin biopsy may be required to further diagnose the skin problem.
In order for a dermatologist to choose a psoriasis treatment method, some factors may be considered including the severity of the skin condition, type of psoriasis, affected area, sufferer’s medical history and age, and the effects that the skin problem have on the overall emotional and physical well-being of the sufferer. Psoriasis treatments may fall into three different categories: topical, systemic, and phototherapy.
Topical agents can be given to people with mild to moderate psoriasis. Phototherapy is also another treatment option that can be recommended to those who have moderate to severe conditions. Systemic medications are often prescribed to affected individuals with moderate to serious psoriasis or for those who are not responding to phototherapy or topical medications.
Known to be caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), a wart is another skin problem that affects people of all ages. There are a number of different wart types and some of these include common warts and plantar warts. Common warts are those that usually appear on the knees, hands, and fingers. These flesh-colored lesions are often no painful and can grow in injured areas. Also called papillomas, plantar warts are also flesh in color but can usually be found on the foot sole. These warts are flat as the weight of the affected person forces them to develop inwards. Plantar warts can be so painful.
How warts spread is not yet clearly understood. It is believed to be caused by a susceptible individual’s direct contact with HPV through a break in his skin’s outer layer. Although warts are not so contagious to others, you can spread warts in different parts of your body. Warts are harmless but can be a nuisance especially if they become enlarged, spread, or already causing you discomfort. To address the warts problem, dermatologists may suggest the use of an over-the-counter medication containing salicylic acid or could recommend surgical removal, cauterizing, scraping, or freezing.
Tinea is the given name for the group of skin diseases caused by dermatophytes and other classes of fungi. Dermatophytes can cause infection of the nails, skin, and hair. There are three classes of dermatophytes and these are Epidermophyton, Trichophyton, and Microsporum. All of these can cause skin problems. Microsporum, however, tends not to affect the nails.
Clinically, tinea is classified according to what part of the body is infected.
Different types of tinea include the following:
Jock Itch – This refers to itchy rashes in the upper thighs and the groin. It is common in adult men especially those who are athletic by nature. All people have microscopic bacteria and fungi living in the body and dermatophytes are just some of them. Since dermatophytes are living on dead skin tissues, nails, and hair, they thrive in moist and warm parts of the body like the groin and thighs.
When the groin portion gets sweaty and is not dried properly, fungi often thrive and multiply. Among the things that can cause the development of jock itch to include excessive sweating while doing something or playing sports, friction from wearing clothes that are tight for several hours, sharing of clothes with other people, and hot or humid weather. Those who are obese and suffering from diabetes mellitus can also likely develop jock itch.
Common signs and symptoms of jock itch may include the appearance of a circular and red rash that has elevated edges, chafing, itching, burning in the thigh, groin, or anal area, peeling, flaking, and cracking of the skin.
Ringworm – This is a skin problem that is common in children. Skin fungi are only capable of living on the dead keratin protein layer above the skin. These fungi rarely invade deep in the body and cannot reside on mucous membranes like in the vagina or mouth. Among the dermatophyte fungi that can cause ringworm to include Trichophyton Mentagrophytes, Trichophyton Rubrum, Trichophyton interdigitale, Epidermophyton Fioccosum, and Trichophyton tonsurans.
Treatment options include the application of ointment that contains clotrimazole, the use of anti-fungal creams, and shea butter soap.
Athlete’s Foot – Popularly known as foot ringworm, athlete’s foot is another skin problem that causes flaking, scaling, and itching of the affected areas. Cracked skin and blisters may also occur, resulting in pain, inflammation, and swelling. This kind of fungal infection can be diagnosed by means of visual skin inspection. If there is little certainty with the diagnosis, direct microscopy of potassium hydroxide preparation or KOH test may be performed.
The athlete’s foot is usually transmitted in warm and moist environments where an individual may walk barefoot (i.e. bathhouses, showers, and locker rooms). Anyone can also get it by sharing towels, sleepers, or footwear with other people who have been infected with it. Treatment options include the application of topical medications and the use of prescription oral antifungal.